It could take longer for pets to get medical care in Alberta due to a shortage of veterinarians. (Katherine Holland/CBC)
Alberta is facing a shortage of veterinarians across the province, which is creating burnout and stress in the industry and increased wait times for pet owners. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association President Pat Burrage said that there are currently 1,800 practicing veterinarians in the province and 370 vacancies. “The pandemic has created extra work for the veterinary profession, as it has for the human medical profession,” said Burrage. “On top of the workplace shortage, it is wearing people out.” Burrage noted that only 50 people graduate from the University of Calgary’s veterinary program each year, and that the number of graduating veterinarians in the province has not changed to meet the increased demand for services.